Mexico opens schools on baseball, president’s favorite sport

FILE – In this March 23, 2019 file photo, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador throws out the first pitch during the inauguration of the Alfredo Harp Helu Stadium, the new home of Los Diablos Rojos baseball team, in Mexico City. Mexico’s education department said Thursday, May 20, 2021, it is opening several schools to train youths for baseball, Lopez Obrador’s favorite sport. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s education department said Thursday it is opening several schools to train youths for baseball, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s favorite sport.

Three-year high-school level schools will also be set up for boxing, track and field and sports therapy, but a larger number will focus on baseball, which is largely regionally popular in Mexico’s north and Gulf coast.

Soccer remains by far the most popular sport in Mexico, but the president grew up playing baseball in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.

He is so enamored of the game that he often posts videos of himself at bat and earlier this week stopped during a presidential tour to take a turn at bat in a pickup game he saw taking place on a field in the northern state of Sinaloa.

Baseball schools will be set up in two places in northern Sonora state, one each in the Gulf coast states of Veracruz and Campeche and one on the outskirts of Mexico City.

A total of two boxing schools and one track and field school will be set up in or near Mexico City. Each school will serve about 210 students. Classes are scheduled to begin in August.

Graduates will get a diploma and will either be able to join teams, teach or act as trainers.

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